On the first day of each month, The Sim Review releases an issue that features one poem and one story. While it certainly does not entertain a lot of reading, it does provide the reader with a way to learn about new writers, and it shines down a spotlight on the writers, putting their voices and names forward.
In January, the poet featured is Valentina Cano, “a student of classical singing.” She has a number of published pieces as well as a blog that she regularly updates. Her poem, “A Taste of You,” is a clouded toast. The glass is “full of dusty shadows,” and corners the narrator’s senses “with a net of lies / that [she] can’t pick apart”:
Every word you’ve said
is strung around me
like the gaudiest of colored lights
and this swallow,
this liquid scurrying down my throat
is just a ripple of ugly laughter.
Daniel Davis, nonfiction editor for The Prompt Literary Magazine, contributes a story about the difference between what’s an honest living and what’s legal, or perhaps it’s about restraint and freedom, or about responsibility, or better yet, it’s about all of these things. In “That Being That,” Duane is in the back of a Packard in handcuffs for illegally making and selling whiskey. Rowley, a confident and perhaps cocky agent, rides shotgun as a nervous young man drives. Duane is desperate to be free:
He felt the urge to stick his hand out the window, like his boys sometimes did, let it ride on the wind, up and down. They weren’t going very fast, but he still wanted the breeze between his fingers. The physical sensation of freedom. He lifted his wrists and pulled them as far apart as the cuffs would allow. Not far enough. His hands dropped back to his lap, and he sighed.
He doesn’t believe that what he is arrested for is wrong. He says his career is honest, just not legal. But Rowley disagrees, saying, “That’s all the difference in the world to me.” But as their conversation ends, they encounter another car on the road that contains someone threatening from Rowley’s past.
Offering a small sampling, The Sim Review is able to feature two quality submissions and give the writers the attention they deserve.